Planet Rock challenges novice and experienced climbers to discover the depth of their willpower in order to conquer their ever-changing collection of routes. The gym's two locations each host more than 50 top-roping routes and more than 15 lead-roping paths for experienced indoor mountaineers, as well as lower-hanging bouldering paths and caverns. Climbers better themselves using 21st-century technology such as a rotating treadmill climbing wall with adjustable speeds, angles, and frequency of charging mountain goats. Staff members keep extensive and updated guidebooks for both the Ann Arbor and Pontiac locations and can point guests toward quality gear sold at the in-house pro shop. Planet Rock also works one-on-one by appointment with climbers who have special needs, assisting individuals with hearing, visual, or physical impairments, and the climbing gym has hosted the climbing portion of the Extremity Games for individuals with amputations.
Vixen Fitness’s certified instructor Danielle Green was fed up with the lack of exercise programs designed to empower women. After a year of throwing private dance parties in her clients’ homes, Danielle realized that many women pursue fitness to feel desirable, which involves not only simple aesthetics, but also self-confidence. Her insights panned out. Today, her all-female fitness operation includes two studios where she and her team of sultry instructors help women unleash their inner Aphrodites. In a comfortable setting, women swivel into leaner bodies during pole-dancing and sensual-dance classes. When they’re not teaching lap dance and aerobic strip-tease classes, teachers help students carve out fitter frames with Zumba and yogalates—a hybrid of yoga and Pilates—and host the original bachelorette and girl’s night out parties that inspired the studio's beginning.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Dance icon Gene Kelly once said, “The history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Since its founding in 1947, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio has continued to turn out dancers with the aid of a pragmatic curriculum that imparts Hollywood–quality footwork. Now taught at more than 140 studios, the curriculum teaches students diverse styles ranging from ballroom to latin to swing and salsa. Stratified by skill level, classes can take students on a journey from rudimentary basics through the foundations of social dance, and then on to more advanced moves, with a trophy system delineating each student’s progress. Dancers of all skill levels and ages can expand their repertoires with group classes, personalized one-on-one instruction, or special wedding dance programs that fortify couples for their first dance as newlyweds.
The owners of Smash Hit Kickboxing invite anyone interested in undertaking a physical, emotional, or spiritual transformation to explore kickboxing and meet with their cadre of experienced instructors. Each instructor boasts over 20 years of martial-arts immersion with backgrounds including a world-ranked kickboxing champion, a former member of the USA National Karate Team, and an award-winning hand model. Their program blends the fitness and self-defense aspects of kickboxing along with specific courses geared towards beginners or advanced students training for their black belts.
Born deaf and three months premature, Jordan Levin didn't hit the ground running. He had to work at it. After teaching himself to talk and read lips, he knew he could scamper toward any goal he chose. Now, this certified personal trainer and his wife, Hillary, propel others toward pride and achievement at their gym, CrossFit Bloomfield. During group workouts filled with weightlifting drills and gymnastics moves, clients morph into teammates who cheer one another toward personal bests. Cardio challenges such as rowing and running raise heart rates to increase endurance, and bodyweight exercises such as burpees and pull-ups build cores as stable as a barium isotope after years of psychotherapy. In addition to scaling the workouts to a variety of fitness levels, the Levins tailor programs to the needs of kids, first responders, and exercisers who are overweight or disabled. Clients can zero in on their goals in personal training sessions, in which a certified coach helps them hone their form and hurdle any obstacles hindering their success.